One major hotel chain is betting big on college campuses – The Average Joe
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    One major hotel chain is betting big on college campuses

    Noah Weidner

    March 14, 2024

    College campuses are booming, but Hilton ($HLT) believes universities are “underserved” and lack nearby hotels. The current high-end options are aging, and the limited-service hotels are too far from alumni gatherings and college sports events. To capitalize on this gap in the market, Hilton decided to invest $210M to purchase Graduate Hotels.

    • Graduate already owns 37 hotels near big US college campuses — and Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta hopes to grow it into a “megabrand” with 400-500 hotels.
    • Nassetta adds that Graduate will offer Hilton an opportunity to get in front of college students and their families, which will “supercharge” the growth of Hilton’s loyalty program.

    March Madness is heating up: NCAA events draw huge crowds, making college sports a lucrative business. Taking advantage of this trend, at least two other competitors to Graduate Hotels have opened in recent months — including a Sports Illustrated hotel by Travel + Leisure ($TNL). Their CEO says, “There’s probably not a more passionate lifestyle in America than college sports” (WSJ).

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